Monday, 19 March 2012


I think there must have been a fall of Chiffchaffs over the weekend at New Hythe. There were at least three in the first tree as you enter the small wood by the river and I saw and heard lots more around the site. These and Cetti's Warblers were certainly the sound of the day. Just inside the wood was a Gt Spotted Woodpecker, who flitted about above me, unconcerned by my presence. On the river I saw a Green Sandpiper bobbing away on the far bank, a pair of Gadwall and a Kingfisher were also seen but with a high tide pushing in there wasn't much else of note.

No sign of any Med Gulls, but there were plenty of Black-headed gulls (below) on Brooklands and Abbey Mead lakes. I think they were feeding on hatching insects, nice to see their chocolate brown heads now. Once again the gulls overhead bought a drifting Buzzard to my attention, one of three seen during the morning. Reed Bunting, Pheasant, Water Rail, Greenfinch, an abundance of Wrens and a couple of Bullfinches were all seen or heard in and around the sunken marsh area.

Over the railway line I was pleased to see my second Bee Fly of the Spring, there was one in my garden last week. This one though did rest for a minute in the now warm sun and I was able to get a picture, note the pollen on its back and legs. Goldfinch, Long-tailed Tit, now almost all in pairs, and a Song Thrush were also spotted here.

I drew a blank with a search for Water Voles and headed back down the river adding a single Goldcrest and lots of Grey Herons, no signs of any young in the nests yet, shouldn't be long I think. A final visit to the small wood didn't add much to my final tally of 46 species, but I sat on the bucket for a while which was nice and warm for a change. Luxury!


Warren Baker said...

Hi Phil,
I havn't seen a bee fly this year yet, I always look forward to seeing them.

Gadwall and Greensand oooooh, how I would love those here!!

Greenie said...

Phil ,
46 species in this 'in between' time sounds very good to me .
Didn't have a single Buzzard sighting on the Downs , you must have had them all last week .

ShySongbird said...

What a nice, sunny visit you had Phil. Lovely, sunny photos too, I particularly liked the GSW and the BHG. I wonder who the bright spark was who originally named the gull and couldn't tell the difference between brown and black ;-)

I read that Water Voles will be one of the species at severe risk if this drought continues :-(

Chris said...

Love the woodpecker shot Phil, they are not so easy to see and to get pictures off! Wonderful... If you have to much sun, you can send me some, I'm still in winter ;-)